There are few things scarier than noticing your oven constantly climbing temps with no signs of stopping. The good news is there are a few things you can do to help fix the issue as long as you know where to look.
If your oven is always overheating, you first need to give it a full deep clean – especially around the heating element. Use an oven-proof thermostat to check if the temperature is still going too high. If it is, you may need to replace the temperature sensor or heating element.
While that sounds scary – don’t worry. It isn’t! In this guide we’ll walk you through how to take an oven from too hot to juust right.
If that sounds good, then let’s dive in.
Before We Get Started
It’s worth grabbing a full kit of cleaning supplies, a screwdriver, and ideally an oven-proof thermometer to test the temperature. If you’re feeling brave and willing to replace parts yourself, picking up some new parts may be necessary – but first let’s see what we can do without that.
Be sure to also find your oven’s manual. If you don’t have it to hand, don’t worry. Just google “[BRAND] Oven [MODEL] Manual PDF” – replacing “brand” and “model” with your oven’s information.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Deep Clean The Oven
I know, this isn’t what anyone wants to hear but it’s the simplest solution. You don’t particularly have to deep clean the whole oven, but do apply an oven cleaning solution to it then scrape off any built-up grime from the oven walls and especially where the heating element is located.
This built up grime could be what’s affecting the way the oven is heating or measuring the temperature.
Step 2: Check your Temperature Sensor
Every time you set your oven to a specific temperature there is a little sensor inside the oven that helps regulate that temp. If the sensor knows the oven isn’t hot enough, it will tell the rest of the oven to continue emitting heat until it reaches the desired temp.
A sensor will cut off the heat if it picks up a temperature that is hotter than what you’ve set. It will wait to turn back on when the temps drop below your settings. Realistically, your oven doesn’t stay at the exact same temperature when it’s on. That’s because it’s constantly putting out heat or peeling back to reach the ideal temp.
This is where a faulty sensor can cause your oven to get extra hot without you even realizing it. If the sensor isn’t picking up the right temperatures, it won’t know when to regulate your oven properly. The sensor might think it’s 350 degrees inside your oven when in reality it’s more like 800 degrees. There is no gauge to tell you what the actual temp inside the oven is compared to the temperature you’ve set. It might be too late before you realize it’s overheating.
To fix the problem, consult your owner’s manual to see the exact resistance your temperature sensor is supposed to have. Unplug the oven, then use the multimeter to see if that same resistance is coming from the temperature sensor.
Step 3: Check the Control Thermostat
The control thermostat is what is on your oven’s display panel and when you punch in a specific temperature, the control thermostat sets off the cooking elements that heat up your oven. It does this through temperature-sensitive contacts that will relay electricity to the heating elements to turn them on.
The control thermostat isn’t as likely to malfunction as the sensor, so make sure you try the step above before taking a close look at your control thermostat. To check and see if this is the issue, use your multimeter to check on the continuity to see if a current is still active.
Some ovens even have a small screw on the back of the control thermostat that allows you to recalibrate the temp as much as 50 degrees.
Step 4: Check the Cooling Fan
An oven cooling fan is a device that provides a continuous airflow to help cool the inside of an oven. When the heat is on, your cooling fan will help distribute the heat evenly in your oven. The fan is also responsible for cooling down the oven when it’s turned off and helping to keep the electrical components cool. Some ovens have a built-in cooling fan while others have an external unit that can be plugged in to provide the airflow.
In this situation, the fan motors are usually one of the first components to malfunction. The motors might be worn out or they may just not be receiving power from the power supply. When your fan isn’t working properly, the components in your oven won’t work properly either because their temperatures aren’t regulated.
This will cause your oven to overheat and could even cause some of your electrical components to be damaged. If that happens, you might be looking at a full oven replacement.
Step 5: Check Your Heating Elements
The oven elements are the coils at the bottom of your oven that turn a fiery red when your oven is heating up. The heating element is only present in an electric oven.
These are the source of all your heat in your oven and when it isn’t working right, there’s a lot of bad things that can happen. If the heating elements aren’t getting the right regulation messages from your thermostat or sensor, they could potentially just keep heating up for as long as the oven is on.
When that happens, watch out! A faulty heating element can cause sparks in your oven because the heating element can come into contact with the metal walls of your oven. If this problem is bad enough, it can actually cause a fire inside your oven. At the very least, it will trip your breakers inside your home and immediately cut the power to the oven.
If the trip is bad enough, it could even blow a fuse in your oven and cause you to have to replace even more parts. Replacing a heating element isn’t that hard and the costs are pretty minimal. You could ultimately hire someone to come out and take a look, but you could also save a little money and try to do it yourself. Just consult your owner’s manual on what exact type of heating element you need for your oven.
Can Electric and Gas Ovens Overheat?
Electric and gas ovens have most of the same components when it comes to regulating temperatures. They should both have a temperature sensor, a control thermostat, and a cooling fan.
The only real difference is how the oven heats up. Instead of having a heating element that produces all the extreme temps, a gas oven runs on, you guessed it, gas. There’s a small pipe that runs through the bottom of your oven and when the oven is turned on, gas will shoot up through the small holes and an igniter will turn the gas into fire with one spark. When a gas oven overheats it usually means there is a miscommunication between your igniter, gas, and temperature sensors.
The oven is telling the gas to continue to flow and heat up the oven because it’s not receiving a message that the oven is at the right temperature. This can be more dangerous than an electric oven heating because there is no gas involved in the electric models and no live fire. If you can’t turn off your gas oven for any reason, you need to switch off the circuit breaker or even cut the gas line if possible.
How do I know if my oven temperature sensor is bad?
You’ll need a multimeter in order to test your oven temperature sensor. The multimeter is able to read the continuity of your appliance parts to see if electricity can still flow through the sensor.
You’ll need to look in your owner’s manual to see what reading you should be checking for so that when you use the multimeter you can tell if the sensor is in a good or bad range.
Do ovens turn off if they overheat?
If there are ventilation problems with your oven like the airflow is being restricted or blocked, then your oven could turn off from overheating.
Also, if the overheating causes your electrical components to fry, then your oven will be too damaged to continue to work properly.
Getting Your Oven To Regulate Temperature
An oven can overheat if the cooling fan, control thermostat, heating element, or temperature sensor is faulty. If you have the right tools you can see which part is causing all the fuss and go about fixing the problem. This will lead to perfectly cooked meals and another worry taken off your mind.
As always, thanks a lot for reading and if you need more oven solutions just check out the articles below.